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Polymers 2018, 10(12), 1315; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10121315

High Proton Selectivity Sulfonated Polyimides Ion Exchange Membranes for Vanadium Flow Batteries

1,2,†
,
2,†
,
2,* , 2
and
1,*
1
Key Laboratory of High Performance Fibers & Products, Ministry of Education, Donghua University, Shanghai 201620, China
2
Key laboratory of Green Printing, Institute of Chemistry Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 October 2018 / Revised: 21 November 2018 / Accepted: 22 November 2018 / Published: 27 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Materials for Electrochemical Energy Conversion and Storage)
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Abstract

High proton selectivity is the ultimate aim for the ion exchange membranes (IEMs). In this study, two kinds of sulfonated polyimides (SPI)—non-fluorinated and fluorine-containing polyimide—with about 40% sulfonation degree were synthesized by one-step high temperature polymerization. High proton selectivity IEMs were prepared and applied in vanadium flow batteries (VFB). The chemical structures, physicochemical properties and single cell performance of these membranes were characterized. The results indicate that high molecular weight of SPIs can guarantee the simultaneous achievement of good mechanical and oxidative stability for IEMs. Meanwhile, the proton selectivity of SPI membrane is five times higher than that of Nafion115 membranes due to the introduction of fluorocarbon groups. Consequently, the single cell assembled with SPI membranes exhibits excellent energy efficiency up to 84.8% at a current density of 100 mA·cm−2, which is 4.6% higher than Nafion115. In addition, the capacity retention is great after 500 charge–discharge cycles. All results demonstrate that fluorinated SPI ion exchange membrane has a bright prospect in new energy field. View Full-Text
Keywords: sulfonated polyimides; ion exchange membrane; proton selectivity; Vanadium flow batteries sulfonated polyimides; ion exchange membrane; proton selectivity; Vanadium flow batteries
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Chen, Q.; Ding, L.; Wang, L.; Yang, H.; Yu, X. High Proton Selectivity Sulfonated Polyimides Ion Exchange Membranes for Vanadium Flow Batteries. Polymers 2018, 10, 1315.

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